Sunday, June 30, 2019

Happy 9th Birthday Tai!

Tai turned 9 today!

He was up at 5:30am so coffee was an essential part of my day.

We celebrated with sugary cereals in the morning, a couple of presents, putting the boom up, playing a round of PAYDAY, playing hide and seek in the rain, having a partial man-overboard when Tai fell in trying to manoeuvre our wagon around a tight corner of the dock and ramp (good thing the kids are good about obeying the rule of lifejackets always on at the dock!).

We had a BBQ lunch, maple marshmallows, double ketchup chips (Tai's favourite) and brownies.

This evening after dinner, we had the family from the next boat around, along with Jackie and Robin, for some birthday cake.

Love the fact that we can fit ten people in our salon and not feel cramped. I foresee many gatherings like this one in the near future!

Happy birthday dear Tai, may this year be full of fun-filled memories and adventure!

Birthday boy was up bright and early today!

Playing PAYDAY!

Making pizza rope out of the main sheet.

Daddy daughter teamwork! 

Kids set the table up for our BBQ lunch.

Friends over for birthday cake.

As per birthday boy's request, we became doggies ... except me!

Late night school work planning.

Saturday, June 29, 2019

Impromptu Trip to Halifax

Today we woke up with some idea of what jobs we wanted to do after schoolwork. But all that got pushed aside when a nice couple we had befriended at the marina let us borrow their car!

Yup, just after a few brief encounters over the last several weeks, they trusted us enough to hand us their car keys for a few days. Don't think they even know our last name! 


We needed some bits and pieces for our list of boat jobs but with no transportation it is difficult to get to any shop. Most marinas are not well situated and getting materials or supplies means having to bus or taxi to the closest chandlery (shop that sells all things marine and nautical). Even if we wanted to, there is no local bus service here and taxis are $$$$.

Having a car again meant we were able to go into Halifax and get to The Binnacle chandlery.

So right after lunch, off we went to Halifax!

Another recent life changing development for us is having running water on board! Now we can wash dishes in the galley sink and brush our teeth on board. What a difference that makes!

Our boat is certainly starting to feel like a home now.

Some people have been asking me how we are adjusting as a family to life aboard a boat.

How is it living together in a small space and being together 24/7?

To be honest, it has been pretty good. Of course when the kids are whining or complaining about something (usually schoolwork), I want to turn and walk far, far away. But that happens when we were back living in a house as well. The only difference is I could walk further away in the house. On a boat, I can only walk several feet in any direction before I'd fall overboard.

Upon more reflection, I think we are actually getting along better than I imagined because this is our reality right now, for all four of us.

Nobody goes off to school or work in the morning. We literally spend every waking moment together. Because of that, we ride the day's events and emotional highs and lows together.

When we were going to school and work separately, we would then all come back together in the evening and have a few hours together before bed.

These hours were often rushed with cooking dinner, overseeing homework, shuttling someone to an extracurricular and planning for the next day's lunches and appointments.

We were disconnected and often emotions would run high. One or more of us would feel tired, overwhelmed, and the smallest thing could tip us over the edge.

It's a bit like when I was a stay at home parent and Matt was the one working outside the home. When he would come home, it would sometimes be hard for him to fit into the energy level that me and the kids were in. He was dealing with other things and people during his day so when it came time to rejoin his family, sometimes our energies just wouldn't match and we would have to recalibrate. Am I making sense?

Being together all day now means that we are on the same 'wave length' and there is no need to 'recalibrate' since we know each other's moods and energy levels just from being only a few feet from each other all day.

Interestingly, I also find the kids are not misbehaving as often for attention seeking reasons. I can honestly say that Matt and I have more time and energy (and usually patience) to answer their questions and even elaborate on our conversations. Because we have the time now. 

We are not rushing off somewhere or have to plan for the next hour's event. The conversation is happening now and we can give more of us as it's happening.

We're often within earshot of each other so even when I'm talking with the kids down in the salon, Matt will chime in with his comments even if he is in the cockpit or up on deck.

It certainly feels like a more insular and fishbowl type of living, this liveaboard cruising life.

I can hardly believe it's been one month already. It feels like a lifetime.

But so far, we are all enjoying it.

We're actually using our French-Dictionary a lot these past few weeks.
Glad we brought it onboard.
Self serve lunch: baguette and naan bread with the choice of margarine,
Nutella or condensed milk. Or all three.

Wondering how to create a seal and waterproof 'boot' for the base of the mast.

Looking up at our rigging. Contemplating how to tighten it
all up to make sure it's nice and strong and taut.

LEGO time!

Get the ends of their role whipped. Basically it means
to sew it up tight so the end doesn't fray.

Getting the ends of our rope nicely tapered with the rope cutter.
It basically is a hot knife that slices through the rope.

Tai showing me a double sheet bend.

Helping to pick out screws at Home Depot.

Dinner at Halifax's Atlantic Superstore. Again ;p

Our cereal stash. You can never have enough fibre in your diet. 

No Boats on Sunday, a locally brewed cider. Love the name!

Special birthday decoration for tomorrow.

Think  Tai will be pretty happy to see this tomorrow!

Friday, June 28, 2019

We have water!

This morning I woke up to the sound of rain coming down. But I also woke up to the sound of the kids happily doing their homework in the salon!

We couldn't quite believe our ears. Was this for real? They were doing their math work out loud and working the problems out together.

Every night before I go to bed, I will write down the next day's schoolwork on a white board. That way everyone knows what needs to be accomplished.

The routine is: wake up, go to the washroom at the marina, eat breakfast and get straight to school work.

Since Matt and I set out the cereal and bowls the night before all the kids need to do is get the milk from the fridge. We did this at home too so this is not unusual. This way we get a bit more of a lie in! 

We taught them how to open and close the top-loading fridge so they don't injure their hand or fingers. The lid is quite heavy and if done incorrectly, it can come slamming down on unsuspecting fingertips.

Today they had gone to the washroom, eaten breakfast and were doing their assigned work before we even got up. This may be a one off, but it can also be just what is expected if we play it that way.

Tai was being a great help and assisting with whatever question Aila was stuck on.

I had to pee so bad but didn't dare get up in case I ruined the good vibe.

They were both done by 9:30! We played PAY DAY again, had some free time and then lunch.

Our challenge for the day was investigating why our water wasn't coming out through the pipes and feeding through to the sinks.

We had filled the water tank pretty much to the max yesterday, so either the water pump is malfunctioning or we're missing something here.

It was the latter.

I saw a comment from one of my pictures from my post yesterday from a fellow Endeavour 42 owner. She mentioned that it was strange we were filling our water tank through the hole that was up on deck.

Her comment made me stop cold because I only thought it was the water infill hole because I had seen the diesel and waste pump out hole already on deck. The covers are marked clearly "water", "diesel" and "waste" but the cover to that hole was rusty and the writing was not visible.

So I (wrongly) assumed it was the water infill.

But in fact, the water infill is down in the cockpit! And the hole we had filled with water yesterday was the tank where waste is collected in the aft (back) toilet! There are TWO waste tanks on board the Endeavour!

Imagine my panic and stupidity!

Lesson learned: never assume anything and KNOW YOUR BOAT!

It could've been worse though. Now all we need to do is pump out the waste tank at some point at a marina. And what should come out is just a whole lot of potable water!

Time for a change of scenery.

By this time the rain was tapering off so we decided to take our dinghy out for a spin. We had the kids talk us through what they thought was the best process of what we needed to do to get us from sitting at the dock to planing on the dinghy out in the channel.

It took a while to get ourselves together since it was our first time doing it here. We had the dinghy pumped up yesterday and our gas tank filled. After locating the fuel hose, a bailer, and getting the outboard motor on, we were finally ready to go.

Did it ever feel good to be moving on the water with the wind in my face!

When we came back to the boat, we decided we should go for a walk so we made Gold Bean Cafe our destination. We had an early dinner there - delicious!

Walking long distance is something we haven't done in a long time and it felt great to stretch our legs.

This evening we all worked on some boat jobs: scrubbing the deck, making sure the scuppers (drain holes on deck and in the cockpit) were not clogged, fixing a new hose clamp on our outboard gas tank which had a small leak, suctioning out the dregs of our bilge and cleaning it out so we can install a new (secondary) bilge pump and bilge alarm later.

At bedtime we started to read Swallows and Amazons out loud. So far the kids are captivated.

Tonight Matt and I continued with our no-water-output problem. This time we know the tank is filled correctly, but why was there no water coming out?

The water pump seemed to be working fine. What was wrong?

Remember those puzzles as a kid where you have to trace wiggly and curvy lines from start to finish and find out where each line ends up? Kind of like following one line of spaghetti through a plateful of pasta?

Well, tracing a line (water, fuel, electric, etc) in a boat is like that but each spaghetti line goes up and down through various floorboards and cupboards and closets and extremely awkward spaces.

Some of the hoses are not marked and so you are simply guessing at what they could be based on the thickness of the line and the material it's made of.

Sometimes the line leads you to a pot of gold and it's all worth it because you now understand what it is all about and how it's connected.

By trying to understand the reason why we couldn't get water through the taps, we had to trace the water lines.

Still, we were finding that we were getting lost and misled and not able to find the source of the problem.

We belong to the Endeavour Boat Owner forum on Facebook and it is super helpful when we're stuck with a question. I reached out to one of the members, Caren Smith, and she was super helpful in trying to help us troubleshoot. 

Previously, she has even called us to help us on other issues. You see, more awesome proof of incredible cruisers!

In the end, what seemed to be the problem was that there was some air trapped in the water pump, causing it to not be able to pump the water. 

So Matt bled the air out of the hose and literally seconds later, there was water gushing out of every faucet! I nearly woke the kids up with my cheering.

What a great ending to an already good day.

The heads (toilets) we still haven't tried and tested yet but at least starting tomorrow we can wash dishes in the sink and use the taps to wash hands. This is an incredible milestone and will save a lot of time schlepping everything to the washroom to wash.

Goodnight, off to dream of the wonder of running water.

Although this manual is super helpful, there have been so many changes
and modifications done to our boat that some systems are a mystery.

Finn the happy dog

Dinghy is in the water but we had to move our boat forward in order to
bring the dinghy down and lower the motor onto it.


Lowering the dinghy from the deck.

Solid wooden steps that the marina lent us so the kids could get on
and off the boat easily. Much better than having to climb the steel ladder!

Getting ready to cast off.

What an exhilarating feeling to be on the water and MOVING!

We're planing!!

Dinner at Gold Bean Cafe. So worth the walk! 

Running down the road to Gold Bean Cafe.

Walking back from Gold Bean Cafe. Great to stretch our legs.

Aila's turn to suck the gunk out of the bilge with the water squirter. 
Her whole body was in the entire compartment, very handy to 
have small people do the work in awkward places.

Using a dollar store water squirter (like a giant syringe) to suck
the bilge water out of the bilge that would not pump out, and putting
it in a used milk jug for disposal.

We filled two milk jugs of yucky bilge water.

Tai having a go with sucking the bilge water.

Filling up the PROPER tank with water this time. Doh!

You can see the reflection of the solar panels we have above
the davits. They have been steadily providing enough power for
our fridge and cabin lights this entire time.

I scrubbed the deck so hard the broom broke! Add another one to the shopping list! 

Water in the galley sink!

Water in the aft sink!

Water in the forward sink!

Finished chainplates. We just have to remove the yellow tape.
If you stick your head in this cabinet the smell of wood and varnish is incredible.

Last sunset rays of the day.